Saturday, February 9, 2013

Schille Ejection

What a great time for curling right now. As I am typing this I am watching both the M & M Junior Men’s final between Alberta and Manitoba (Go Dunstone) but also the 1 vs 1 page playoff game of the Manitoba Men’s Safeway Championship between Jeff Stoughton and Sean Grassie. Over the past few weekends we have been spoiled with lots of curling on TSN and Sportsnet. With Sportsnet’s acquisition of the Grand Slam series and broadcasting rights to some of the country’s provincial championship this is the best time for curling on TV. It isn’t every day that I have the choice of watching two different curling games on two different networks.

Last weekend the curling twitterverse exploded with reports from the Saskatchewan Men’s playdowns that Chris Schille had been kicked out of the “B” final. Here are some of tweets from Chris Schille (@cschille on twitter).

It took some time for the dust to settle and to get all the details of what happened but you can read summary here on Bob Week’s blog.Bob Week’s goes on to say that he has no problem with the official Deanna Rindal ejecting Schille from the game in the second end but was unsatisfied of the reason she gave. I however have a problem with an official ejecting a player from a game for swearing. I don’t believe curling should be held to a higher standard than other sports with swearing. It is a double edged sword if a player decides wear a microphone because they do have to watch what they say. In other sports I can guarantee you that what the players say during the game is not rated G. When a curler swears it is to show frustration which is a genuine way of showing they care. When we lace up the shoes we are going out there to win, nothing else. Curling is a fun sport but for the athletes at the top WINNING is fun. If a curler does swear maybe they can make the choice not to wear the microphone in the first place.

Thanks for taking the time to listen me ramble a bit. In a month from I will headed to Edmonton to watch the Brier with Kevin Palmer & Gerry Geurts. We will be recording some episode for Around the House podcast so make sure to subscribe through iTunes. I also strongly recommend that you follow me on twitter @ShaneOJak so we may interact. Until next time.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Around the House Podcast - Episode 4 w/ Reid Carruthers

Please turn down the volume before you start listening. The podcast was recorded with very loud volume so please be kind to your ear drums and turn down the volume.

Reid Carruthers joins the boys this week's episode. Reid is on the road for the CurlManitoba Road Show. Reid explains the Road Show along with detailing some of his experiences from his junior days. Gerry breaks down the current standings for the Curling Trials in Winnipeg and Pre-Trials in Waterloo. Other topics include the results from the previous Grand Slam in Kelowna and the 2012 European Curling Championships. And the last topic we shortly discuss the upcoming TSN Skins Game.

**The RSS should be up in a week's time so you can enjoy the show from your ipod or other listening devices.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Around the House Podcast - Episode 3 w/ Al Cameron

Al Cameron joins the boys for the third episode of the show. Al Cameron is the new Director of Communication & Media Relations for the CCA starting in January and explains a bit of his new position. Other topics in this week's episode includes relegation, Canada Cup results, European Championships, Continental Cup, Mixed Doubles and the upcoming Grand Slam event.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Around the House Podcast - Episode 2 with Richard Hart

Jordan, Kevin & Gerry are joined my Olympic Silver medalist, Brier and World Champion Richard Hart. Richard joins the panel to sit down and talk some curling including, the 2012 Canada Cup in Moose Jaw, small crowd attendance, the 2014 Continental Cup being held in Las Vegas & gambling on curling.

(I was having some network issues during the recording of the podcast so there a few spots where the audio will skip or sound distorted. My apologies and thanks for the patience as we work through some of the bugs. Also the RSS feed should be set up soon so we can get the episodes onto iTunes.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Around the House - Episode 1

Along with Kevin Palmer & Gerry Geurts we present to you our brand new Curling Podcast: Around the House. We will be discussing everything curling. Here is what we discussed on this episode: Rogers $1 million dollar bonus, Rogers coverage of the first grand slam event, player mics, 2-teir grand slam event and the upcoming Canada Cup.

We will be looking at having a new episode every 2 weeks or so. Enjoy!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Changes, New Curling Podcast?

As with everything in life curling is prone to changes of all kinds. Good or bad it is good for the game. For the longest time curling didn't use a free guard zone. A 3 rock free guard zone was developed and adopted by Canada then the 4 rock rule was implemented. It is hard to think I can remember the days of the 3 rock FGZ rule. Anyways, I am just rambling at this point. I see some great innovations coming very soon and I would like to take some time and give you my feelings on one specifically.

Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Trials
(click above for article)

One criticism I had for the CCA was the decision it made the Canadian Mixed Champions select 2 of the 4 members on the team to represent Canada at the World Mixed Doubles Championships. Certainly a good problem to have if you are the winning team but it was a lazy solution by the CCA. But we now have a solution. The creation of a new national championship happening next March in Leduc, Alberta: The Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Trials.

I am very optimistic that this event is going to go very well and will probably get rave reviews from the curlers if I had to guess. The qualifying process is very simple and here is how it breaks down from the CCA:

1. Each of the 14 provincial/territorial curling associations will select one team.

2. The winning team at the upcoming Canadian Mixed, November 15-24 in Mont-Royal, Quebec will receive two entries.

3. The balance (the other 16 teams) will be composed of open invitations but should more than the required number submit entries, then each team’s participating status will be decided by the Order of Merit as of December 31, 2012. The Order of Merit is based exclusively on the CCA’s Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS).

I really like that every corner of Canada will be represented at this new championship but the greatest thing is that there will be a mix of club level curler and the curling elite. Let me explain, all the provincial/territorial associations will be forced to either create a new provincial championship or select a representative by another means to compete in Leduc. In those provincial championships it is very likely that you will see club level curlers come out on top. With open invitations from the Order or Merit to Canada's elite curlers I see many of the top young curlers in Canada going to take advantage for the chance to curl in this new event. It should prove to be interesting to see who will compete in Leduc in March. I can only see positives for this event with the possible chance of Mixed Doubles being included at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

For those outside Manitoba you may not know but Resby Coutts' talk show is moving radio stations from TSN 1290 in Winnipeg to CKLQ 880 in Brandon including a brand new name IN THE HACK with Resby Coutts. This will leave a void in my life as I am no longer a regular contributor to his show. I have known of this this for a couple of weeks and wondered what I am going to do this winter. I certainly enjoyed my time talking curling and I don't want it to end. Dean Gemmell has the one man show mastered with the great work he does on The Curling Show. I would feel like I would be copying him if I did a one man show so I am putting an open invitation to anyone in the curling world who would like to join me on a new curling podcast: The Last Rock Podcast. I would like to have a round table format where 2 or 3 other people join me a couple times per month(during the curling season) to discuss everything curling. You can be from anywhere in the world but the only thing I ask is you have Skype, headset and mic. Anyone interested please contact me by email and I will reply with more specific details.

Until next time,


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sturling & End of Season

I bring you my end of season entry of my blog to share some thoughts of the year. This has definitely been a season of change for me personally. I moved away from home for the first time and hopefully the last time, only to move back to Winnipeg a few months later. I now live with other family as I try to find my way in life. Things always sort themselves out so I am not worried. Now to the Curling.

As I mentioned it was a season of change for me and curling was included. Mentally it has taken me a long time to get over the disappointment of failing to represent Manitoba at the National Juniors some 7 years ago. Some of you who read this may think 7 years is a long time to get over failure and I am inclined to agree with you. I don't know why it has taken so long but I think the return of the Winnipeg Jets has something to do with the solution. Last May I was in Las Vegas when the announcement of the NHL coming back to Winnipeg was made. Seeing the passion in eyes of Winnipeggers during the summer to the lead-up of the home opener really touched home with me. One thing people will tell you about me is that I am very passionate and patriotic. The return of the Jets helped rekindle my passion for curling but it took some time to realize.

I had a very frustrating curling season in terms of success but will continue to chase my dreams but I must put a better effort away from the ice. But during a game a few weeks ago with my team at the Fort Rouge Curling Club I realized it is not about success or failure. It is about who you do it with and the camaraderie you share in that journey. That team that I curl with will probably never win the Brier because that is not our goal. Our goal is simply to curl together and enjoy each others' company. The success will come but you cannot force it. I have been too wrapped up in the competitive side of the game to take sometime to enjoy it.

I want to thank Ernie, Peter, Garth and the rest of the Manitoba Stick Curling Association hosting a great event a couple of weeks ago with the 2012 Manitoba Open Stick Curling Championship. My aunt Connie Fennell and I entered into the championship a few weeks prior after I saw a poster for the event. Connie blew her knee out a few years back and has been using a stick to curl with for a few seasons. The opportunities for us to curl together have been few and far between. If I were to thank anyone other than my mom that got me into curling it would be my aunt Connie. Thanks Connie!!! Connie will be retiring from curling most likely after this year so this bonspiel was the perfect chance to curl with her in something we both could enjoy together. You may be asking how do only two people curl in a bonspiel? Well, for the most part across the country stick curling is played in a doubles format. The rules are fairly similar to traditional curling with a few exceptions: 6 rocks, 6 ends, 3 rock free rule(I'll explain in a second) and no sweeping in between hoglines. One member per team throws from each end. So teammate 1 throws rocks in ends 1,3,5 and teammate 2 throws ends 2,4,6. My aunt and I finished the event with a record of 7-2 bowing out in the quarter-finals. I got to meet some great people and I found the transition from sliding to using a stick quite natural. I encourage everyone to go out and try Sturling as some of them say it. You can visit
for more information

As the season winds down I would like to congratulate all the winners at national championships this year. It feels like Alberta won almost everything doesn't it. As well as a bonus congratulations for Glenn Howard and his rink of Wayne Middaugh, Brent Laing and Craig Savill for their victory today over Scotland to win the 2012 World Championships. Good luck all the teams competing at the Players' Championship next week.

Resby Coutts and I will have one final Rock Talk this curling season this Wednesday April 11th at 7pm CST on TSN 1290. We will be joined by Shane Ray of CurlManitoba and Paul Wiecek of the Winnipeg Free Press to wrap up another great curling season. That's all I got for you right now but I promise to myself to update this blog more often next curling season. If you would like to get in touch with me you can reach me on twitter: @ShaneOJak

Until next time, have a good one.